31 May 2011

if: asleep

Even though this sketch was done with student pastels that didn't blend properly, I still liked the idea of wondering about the two figures: who was the dreamer and who was the dream?

Usually a dream with a kiss is a good dream, I think...

27 May 2011

mail art for jessica

Today I heard that my mail package arrived to Jessica Gowling's mailbox, so now I can share with you what it contained. Because I had such little free time, I wasn't able to sit down and put together an envelope of mail art for her in one go. Rather, I got the envelope and kept it nearby for weeks and weeks, tucking things into it as they came along.

The envelope traveled back and forth with me from home to work to home again. I doodled on it whenever I had some spare moments ~ waiting in the car, waiting for the computer to respond, relaxing before bed. Gradually, the doodle grew into a scene of a world I'd like to visit.

At the same time, the envelope also grew fatter. This vegetable print card from the Earth Day celebration at San Francisco Center for the Book was one of the first things to find its way inside. 

Potato fish and onions

Other items that jumped in were: letterpress prints from Earth Day, origami paper, a folded crane, a cheerful postcard picked up in a local cafe, and a sheet of paper that I made from the garden grass after I cut it one afternoon.

The final item was an experiment I was doing with Japanese paper strings. There are all kinds of different decorative knots one can learn. I wasn't too skilled, though. It took forever to get this slightly lopsided result!

This was my second mail art package to Jessica G. I was glad to hear she enjoyed receiving it and now I'm looking forward to getting one of her awesome zines. Meanwhile, we're approaching the end of the school year and I hope to have some free time in the summer so I can start to exchange art with more talented friends. Who wants to trade with me? :)

25 May 2011

inspiration: maker faire

I attended the Bay Area Maker Faire last weekend and saw many impressive creations. Some of the more spectacular or intricate photos I shared via twitpic. But one creation that caught my heart was extremely simple ~ an igloo home of milk cartons:

I know it doesn't look like much, but the view from inside was very pretty and there was a surprising amount of room. It brought me straight back to my childhood when my sister and I built clubhouses out of fruit crates and wire twist ties. This one is held together with hot glue.

Bits of sky peek through. Inside it was cozy but roomy.

It took almost 500 milk cartons, I think they said... we'll have to drink a lot and save our cartons for quite a while to make one.

Another friendly landscape, this one of light, air and cloth:

We walked through it, sinking our hands into the chubby trunks. Then we hopped about on colored squares that changed colors with our steps.

The fair covered many types of creativity ~ a truck to climb on with rooms built of piano innards to strum, giant moving fire-breathing sculptures, robots, crafts, solar powered and pedal powered rides, fighting machines and every kind of DIY imaginable. This was our second time attending and we found a few favorites that we remembered from before. My kids and I like building and shooting off rockets and trying to ride bikes that have been taken apart and pieced back together with whimsical (off center) wheels, shopping cart parts, skateboards and scooters.

I would have liked to sit down and learn knitting or felting, but since I brought three boys with me they weren't too interested in such things. If you have the opportunity to attend a Maker Faire, I do recommend it!

15 May 2011

ready to send

At last! An afternoon to wrap up the mail art that I've owed for such a long time to Jessica Gowling, who is the Queen of Mail Art (and even has her own faux postbox in her studio). Here I'm sharing with you some little views of the envelope before I put the address on. Tomorrow I'll pop it in the mailbox and send it north to Canada.

No photos of the contents yet, though ~ I want it to be a surprise when she receives it! :)

09 May 2011

mother's day

Visited my mom on Mother's Day and brought her a big hydrangea for her garden. I gave her one last year and it has totally thrived for her, whereas the one in my yard is barely hanging on. There are still things I can learn from her. ^_^

Her garden is getting all dressed up for my sister's wedding, so we all showed up with ideas for the decorations and tried out tablecloths, runners, flower arrangements, etc.

My mom has made a number of little basket vases so we cut some roses from the yard and trimmed some greenery from another bush to give ourselves an idea of how the table bouquets could look. My sister was happy.

As you can see, there are also some origami cranes in the arrangement. They are symbols of good fortune so many Japanese American weddings feature cranes in the decor. I've been folding so many for Japan Relief (Intuit is now paying $1 each to Japan's recovery through the month of May!) and now I'm also trying to fold 1,000 cranes for the wedding. Soon my right thumbnail may have a little indention from scoring the paper folds ~ I hope not!

The wedding is a relatively cozy affair but there's still so much to do! I've laid out a basic design for the wedding program, which will probably be a simply bound little booklet with a washi paper cover and some embossed flowers inside. I don't know how to letterpress yet, so this will have to be printed on the regular ole printer ~ too bad ~ but it can still be cute.

I'm also responsible for the guest sign-in frame or book. The couple liked the quick sketch I made of them when they announced their engagement, so it may feature a more polished and colorful version. It's a little casual in look, but since it's a garden wedding it seems OK...

My mother has been really amazing ~ she made all the basket vases plus 100 clay wine cups for the guests to use and take home as favors. They're all glazed in white and have a little stamp on them that she carved to look like a heart, but if you look closely you see it is also a P and T for the couple's initials. Very sweet! My mom is awesome.


As a mother myself, I received a beautiful orchid, a T-shirt with Naruto and Sasuke characters hand-drawn on the sleeve, two little clay bunnies with a clay bush for them to hop around, a rainbow colored ribbon and a song played on the guitar for me that was invented on the spot and had lines like, "Mom! Is the best in the whole wide world!!" and wasn't too hard to listen to. :)